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Evolving Beyond Human Relations

  • Peter BloomEmail author
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Abstract

The second chapter explores the need to evolve beyond current anthropocentric views in order to prepare for a “transh-human” future. A seeming constant in contemporary society is the central place accorded to the human. While issues of the environment and animal welfare are increasingly prominent, humans remain the primary focus of politics, culture and the economy, trumping ethical concerns that may impede their ‘progress’. It is their needs that continue to reign supreme and around which all else must ultimately revolve. However, as A.I. develops and their potential for consciousness grows, humans will be forced to undergo their own Copernican revolution where they can no longer place themselves at the centre of the social universe.

What is crucial is not to simply reinvent human relations but to develop a new paradigm of transhumanism current anthropocentric views to prepare for this diverse technological future. A seeming constant in contemporary society is the central place accorded to the human-animal. While issues of the environment and animal welfare are increasingly prominent, humans remain the primary focus of politics, culture and the economy, trumping ethical concerns that may impede their ‘progress’. It is their needs that continue to reign supreme and around which all else must ultimately revolve. However, as A.I. develops and their potential for consciousness grows, humans will be forced to undergo their own Copernican revolution where they can no longer place themselves at the centre of the social universe. What is crucial is not to simply reinvent humanism but to develop a new paradigm of transhumanism.

This chapter will start by highlighting how culturally we construct ourselves as being in an “anthropocene” age dominated by human perspectives and desires. From this it will then turn to critical approaches such as “new materialism” to emphasise the possibilities and importance associated with “non-human” configurations in our natural and social environment. In this spirit, it will show how struggles with animal ethics and environmental issue are fundamental to this human evolution and key to preparing present day societies for a future of greater human and non-human contact and integration. It will furthermore highlight the role that serious gaming and virtual reality can have for bringing about this more expansive human vision.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of EssexColchesterUK

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